Difference between Gray Hair and White Hair

Difference between Gray Hair and White Hair

With age comes gray hair. This is because it’s a natural human body process that comes with aging. However, gray hair can also be caused by different illnesses apart from old age. The hair’s natural color is due to a chemical known as melanin. Pheomelanin will therefore produce blonde or red colors, while Eumelanin provides the hair with darker shades of brown and black.

A reduction in melanin levels produced by the pigment cells within your scalp will eventually cause the hair to lose its natural color.

Gray Hair Vs. White Hair

There are lots of difference that exists between Gray Hair and White Hair. To start with, Gray Hair comes from old age, which makes the hair naturally lose its original color. However, this can at times be due to old age. When the hair loses all of its natural pigmentation or melanin, you will be left with white hair.

Gray hair, therefore, forms when the hair strands have some melanin content. For white hair, they will grow when the pigment cells are entirely unable to manufacture more melanin.

What is Gray Hair?

Gray hair refers to a mix of naturally colored and white hair. It can also refer to the natural color that becomes somewhat white. Melanin chemical is responsible for the natural color of the hair. Gray hair will therefore form while the hair strands still have little melanin content left within them.

Often, an individual’s genes will determine the rate at which your grey hair starts to show up. Nevertheless, different illnesses can be the main reason your hair turns gray quickly. The standard and natural process of hair turning gray due to age will start showing up in the 40s and mid-30s. However, some can start experiencing gray hair in their 20s.

Apart from natural reasons, illnesses such as vitamin B-12 deficiency, vitiligo, neurofibromatosis, and alopecia areata are just a few commonly known diseases that cause premature gray hair turning. Hair turning to gray is also associated with Tobacco smoking and stress.

What is White Hair?

When the hair loses all its natural color, it turns to white. Therefore, white hair can be described as hair that has lost all of its melanin content (pigmentation). White hair is generally due to the pigment cells’ failure to produce melanin making the hair stands to lose its natural color.

It usually takes up to 10 years for your gray hair to completely turn white. However, other health conditions, including Marie Antoinette syndrome, can trigger a faster white hair turning.

Once the hair starts to gray, it will lose its natural color and become white.

Difference between Gray Hair and White Hair

  • What is referred to as gray hair mixes both the natural hair color and white color. Hair that has completely lost its pigmentation, on the other hand, is what is known as white hair.
  • Gray hair still contains melanin, while white hair comes when the pigment cells are entirely unable to manufacture more melanin.
  • Human genetics is the primary determinant of when you will turn gray. However, other illnesses might also trigger a faster graying. The hair will finally lose its natural color and turn white.
  • Gray hair starts becoming visible at the age of 40 and mid-30, with fewer people experiencing the turn at their 20s. It usually takes 10 years for the gray hair to turn white completely.
  • Illness such as vitiligo, b12 deficiency, and thyroid disease can easily lead to premature gray hair. The hair will then lose its original color and turn white.


Loss of natural hair color is a natural process that comes with age. As we get older, the cells responsible for our hair color start to produce lesser melanin. At times this can be due to different illnesses. Gray hair is, therefore, a transformation hair period from the original color to white. As soon as the hair completely loses the coloring pigments, it finally turns to white.

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